• Emptying Our Pockets: Digital Wallets

    With Apple announcing that they are entering the realm of digital wallets with Apple Pay, how much longer are we going to be carrying around physical wallets? There are phone cases that are built to hold credit cards and currency, and there is obviously a demand to consolidate wallets and phones.

    So, just how much longer do our wallets have?

    Millennials are willing to do just about anything to avoid writing a check and can you blame them? Almost every bank out there has a money transfer app, and there are other options as well such as Venmo. Venmo is an app that allows for money transfers between different banks for free. It also has a fun social media twist on it where friends can see your money transfers (though not the dollar amount). Venmo may be my favorite app of the past year, I know it is the app I recommend to people the most (probably because I want them to pay me instead of owing me). From splitting a large pizza to paying rent, I now Venmo just about everything. The convenience of that situation can't be lost on students in The Region of Purdue Calumet or IUN.

    With the complete digitization of currency becoming a reality, what kind of effects is that going to have on our everyday life? I see a lot of positives and very few negatives.

    Positives:

    - Track-ability: I really like the track-ability of digital payments, especially when it comes to apps like Mint that help track spending habits. I believe that trackability and fiscal responsibility go hand-in-hand.

    - Security: More and more we hear about security breaches and less about crime in meatspace. But I will take that trade any day. It has become much more difficult to rob someone who carries no money and a device that is useless without a security code.

    - Portability: In the years before the cell phone we only carried a wallet and keys. Now it is phone, wallet, and keys. Wouldn’t it be nice to take one of those out of the equation?

    Negatives:

    -Reliance: Do we really trust our phones enough to make it an entire day all of the time? No way, definitely if we forget to throw it on the charger at night. A dead phone would mean no access to money if it replaces our wallet.

    -Service: What happens if you are in one of the many cellular dead zones? No money.

    There are still some huge issues to resolve before we move away from physical wallets, but I am really excited about emptying one of my pockets for once.